My niece and I have a monthly challenge of memorizing a Bible verse. We started this practice in early March, on the eve of the pandemic and just prior to her son’s boarding a plane for his deployment to the mountains of Afghanistan. Her son is now living in a remote tent village where worries of coronavirus blur with reports of roadside bombings.
It is no wonder then that my niece turned to Psalm 91 for April’s memory verse. It is our prayer for her son, our loved ones, and indeed the whole world.
“He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.”
When my niece directed me to this passage, I discovered scribbles in the margins of my Bible – ones that I had written over the years to remind me of specific times when I was overcome with fear and these verses spoke to me.
My daughter, now 29, was probably a first grader when she struggled with nightmares and used to sneak into our bed at 2AM or beg me to sleep on the floor next to her bed. God covered her with his wings and dispelled her fear of the night’s terrors.
in 2005 I was fearful of my children boarding a plane without me and going to a tennis camp in Florida. God’s wings and feathers were there once again. In the same year, fears of hurricanes and floods consumed me. My father had passed away and my mom was alone in her Florida home. God’s wings and feathers covered us both.
Some scribbles don’t spark any specific memory. Whatever fears I had in August of 2000 or May of 2001 were also covered. Forgotten but for this note in the margin, just below the words,
God is my shelter, refuge, dwelling, my fortress, my shield.
As we devise our homemade masks on our kitchen tables; as we gaze outside our windows to a world that has virtually stopped and we cannot be a part of, as we worry over loved ones, and marvel over the courage of health care providers, as we struggle with loneliness, boredom, angst, let us return to Psalm 91 and the word of the Lord. He is STILL the same God who wrapped his arms around my daughter and brought my mom through turbulent storms, and who has calmed my fearful heart all my days.
May we find rest under His wings.
Featured image courtesy of https://www.heartsandsharts.com/free-printable-psalm-91/